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Residential Allocations

Both an allocation and development right are required in order to build a residential unit.
A development right is one-half of what is required in order to build a residential unit. Typically each undeveloped residential lot has one development right associated with it. If more than one housing unit is proposed for a site, additional development rights need to be purchased and transferred to the parcel to match the allocations received. 

An allocation is the other half of what is required in order to build a residential unit. When matched with a development right, it allows the property owner to submit plans for construction of a new residential unit. A Residential Allocation Application must be completed and submitted to the Planning Division. 

Available Allocations

Due to a recent Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) change, the City of South Lake Tahoe has 66 allocations to distribute for the 2015/2016 calendar years.

City of South Lake Tahoe Resolution No. 2015-7  adopted by the City Council revised the residential allocation procedures to include the following:

-  Assigned 49% of the allocations (29 for CY15-16) for town centers in the Area Plans to incentivize development and revitalization;

- Retain the existing division of the remaining 51% allocations (30 for CY15-16) between multi-family (1/3) and single family residences (2/3);

-  Delete the provision allowing projects using green building to advance to the top of the allocations waiting list; and

- Amend the process for multi-family allocations and require applicants to submit for a building permit within six months of design review approval, or one year after submitting for design review.


Upon receipt of residential allocations issued by the TRPA, Permit Center staff will contact people on the waiting in numerical order.  The property owner is given 30 days to accept, rescind, or pay a new application fee to go to the bottom of the waiting list.
If an allocation is rescinded permit staff will  contact property owners next in line and give them the opportunity to accept an allocation.  Permit staff has notified everyone on the single and multi-family allocation waiting lists for 2015/2016.   For additional information please view our Single Family Allocation Handout and Multi-Family Allocation Handout.

Waiting Lists:
You may view the current residential allocation waiting lists below:

  • Multi-Family Allocation Waiting List - Currently all of the property owners on the multi-family waiting list have been offered allocations.  There are multi-family allocations available to accept immediately in both residential and town center areas.       
  • Single Family Allocation Waiting List  - Currently all of the 2015/2016 single family allocations have been accepted.
Private Market Allocations:

If there are no allocations available through the City allocation pool and you wish to build without waiting to be offered a City allocation, you may purchase allocations on the open market through a private party.  A local realtor may be able to help with the process.  If you purchase an allocation from a private party you will need to complete a Transfer of Rights application with both the City and TRPA. 

For additional information, please contact Permit Center staff at (530) 542-6020 or (530) 542-6010.